Politicians with the National Action Party (PAN) have denied claims by former Pemex boss Emilio Lozoya that they received bribes in exchange for legislative support.
Lozoya, who is in federal custody after being arrested in Spain in February and extradited to Mexico earlier this month, is accused of money laundering, criminal association and involvement in bribery.
The newspaper Reforma reported on Friday that he told authorities that he paid a total of 52.38 million pesos to PAN legislators during the administration of former president Enrique Peña Nieto in order to garner their support for the Pact for Mexico, which introduced sweeping reforms in sectors ranging from energy to education.
A payment of 6.8 million pesos was allegedly made to former PAN presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya, who rejected the accusation in a message yesterday to Reforma.
“The information contained is absolutely false. I have never committed an improper act. In addition to being false, the information is absurd,” he said. “I supported the reform with enormous conviction.”
Loyoza says bribes were also paid to former PAN senators Ernesto Cordero and Salvador Vega as well as Francisco Dominguez Servién and Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, current governors of Querétaro and Tamaulipas, respectively.
All four have denied the accusations.
The National Action Party said in a statement that Lozoya’s allegations are those of “a suspected criminal” who is accusing political enemies in order to save himself.
The party said the issue was a “smokescreen” intended to distract attention from “the failure of the López Obrador government in terms of the economy, … the appalling management of the coronavirus and the deaths that could have been avoided.”